Oh my Brothers I feel rough… Forgive what will be a terrible post I am filling with life as a literature student. Maybe it is the weather or the fact that I’ve not found time to eat in eight hours. But I must write to dispell this skirt that is a torniquet around my waist and the gridlock of buses I am stuck upon.
So the modules this term are Urban Cultures looking at the complexities and tropes of the Metropolis and Subjectivities which includes some of the writers I can dive under.
I’m not the best of students….
Moday I wheeled in an hour and a half late with a case full of dirty clothes, hand spun silks and Jekyll and Hyde comics. There is always a sense of falling from a vortex, Wizard of Oz like sensation returning to London from my family in our village.
Everyone was obscured in a film as I tumbled in blind to empty seats, voiceless to drums on the screen.
I think it was man with the movie camera? Verkoff? It portrayed city life in fragments, some speeded and frozen. The camera featured throughout the film as the signifier of moments captured and editted: a production of the production of urban humanity. Both machines and people make repititive autonomous movements.
I thought of Georg Simmels essay on the Berlin Exhibition. And for a small sacrifice (in that case spending money) results in time for amusement. The film seemed to say work hard in industry and the reward are all these shots of playing on the beach all the grins the citizens wear with a dose of frenzied accordion music.
But I said nothung, I wondered if the blue roses circling my head were too eccentric and if the metropolis could exist without capitalism and mass production for mass consumption.
But I did not say a word.
University has been my biggest silencer, such carcophony of thoughts and ideas render me mute. Sometimes I think words will leak from my brain out of my ears like cut out, black paper type.
In a Plathian state I become a fidgeting Esther Greenwood wondering what position to sit, where to place my arms. If I shift from a painful slouch will it disrupt everything? Yet I am enjoying this place, these ideas and insights.
A man talks of hallucinations and research in the 18th century. In some corner of some party, probably in 1967, he would have convinced me to expand my mind.
How do you definitely know tou have hallucinated if it looks so real?
Woolf takes up the evening. Reading To the Lighthouse always overwhelms with the private thoughts of others, all doubting themselves and longing. The island they inhabit feels cut off as though in some sort of purgatory in time; a clearance in a void of grey green sea and mist that I need to read in small doses, to come up for air. Why were her critics so hard on her to be this or that; be a woman? Doesn’t her androgeny in her work (if androgyny be an indistinguishable overlap of the sexes in my opinion) show that in our microcosm of societies our thoughts and woes are equal?
I will never teach. I do not speak. And yet I could fill a library on my thoughts and interest. I just can not articulate
The boy in the takeaway tells me cocksure that all you can do with literature is teach.
I want to write. And for the first time I say so.